God’s wrath was never on you.
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Thus began the 7 trumpets.
Now so many people says this is God’s pouring his wrath on everyone.
What people do not understand this is actually a process which happened in a Jewish temple.
Aaron is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die.
This is done in silence for half an hour. He does this alone.
No one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.
The smoke and the incense here represent the prayers of the saints.
Now many people then argue that these are the saints through out Christianity.
This is not true.
It’s actually about these people.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
Now let me show you something.
Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Now look at this.
so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Now look at this.
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
More people dying together with the ones crying out to God for revenge.
Now look at this.
Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
This is God answering these people’s prayers.
This is also what Jesus prophesied.
Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.
This desolate house is the temple. That’s why in the next chapter he said this.
“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
So when you read about the 7 trumpets and it’s bowls, it’s about God punishing Jerusalem for her sins for killing the prophets.
By the way this is what it means here.
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
The sins of the first covenant was referring to the sins of Jerusalem.
Jesus came to call people out of old Jerusalem onto the New Jerusalem.
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.
This same call is echoed here.
Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“‘Come out of her, my people,’
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
Babylon here is figuratively Jerusalem.
As such we learn something here.
God was never angry at you. This was about the religious leaders of Jerusalem in that generation.
The wrath of God was against the Jews who killed Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 2:15-16
who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
God was never angry with you. It’s not your sins which Jesus died for. He died for the sins of the old covenant world.
You were born in Christ. You never tresspassed against the Law.
That’s how you read the Bible. That’s how it sets you free.